Sunday, November 6, 2011

Why Doesn't Anybody Want to Buy a Gag about Bernie Madoff being Brutalized in Prison?

I love writing.  I have a full-time job and commitments at home, so I have to squeeze it in on my commute (on a subway train) and on the weekends, but I just love it.

I experiment with everything.  I have written SF, fantasy, mystery, children's stories, and....

...drumroll please...

...gags.

I love visual humor.  Problem is (since I try to write to sell) there's not much of a market for it.  I could name seven different SF/Fantasy markets that pay pro rates, and at least two mystery magazines.  But humor?

I relished creating the gag below.  I wrote the text on the train, then created at home with a collage of publicly available images in PowerPoint, then Paint.

And then....

And then I sent it to Mad Magazine's Fundalini page, which accepts unsolicited contributions.  But, they don't respond if they reject your material.  (They allow email submissions, and their target audience is in their mid-teens; I am sure the crap-to-diamonds ratio is truly staggering.)  So you basically have to write it off after a certain time period has passed.

And that was about it.

Oh, I was able to send to another publication, The Funny Times (a publication of whose existence I was unaware before doing a desperate duotrope search).  The submission was done through something called "the post office" (I had forgotten it existed, too). 

The Funny Times staff sent me a rejection slip in a reasonable 46 days.  (I appreciated their professionalism enough to make their name a hyperlink on first mention.  Cline may be Cruel, but he ain't bitter.)

And that was definitely it.

But wait, didn't somebody go and invent something called The Internet?  Can't you just post whatever the hell you feel like, fer free, on yer own web site?

(Sigh.)  Yeah.

But, but...

...It just doesn't seem validated, man.

I grew up reading Mad Magazine.

In black and white.

Before they could use the word "piss" in print.

I look through it today, and it is definitely not your father's Mad (or, in my case, your creepy, deranged loner uncle's Mad).

I'm making a mountain out of a molehill, here.  I did a snarky one-panel joke about a sleazebag grifter being the victim of prison rape.  This isn't like John Kennedy Toole committing suicide, and then his posthumously published novel winning the Pulitzer prize.  Hell, this isn't even like The Odd Couple being cancelled and then Tony Randall winning an Emmy award for it afterward.

This is just, this is just....

(DEEP sigh.)
So, now that you've been burdened with the arr-tiste's baggage, enjoy the damn cartoon.

(Deep sigh, ending with the flapping of lips towards the end.  That kind of sigh.  Like a snorting horse.)



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